Attorney General William Barr delivered a redacted version of the Mueller report to Congress and posted the special counsel’s findings online Thursday morning.
The document’s publication followed a Justice Department press conference that critics and Democratic lawmakers denounced as an effort to spin Mueller’s findings and protect President Donald Trump.
“Before the American people can read it themselves, Barr is trying to spin a report he knows will damage his boss,” tweeted Rep. Barbara Lee during Barr’s morning press conference. “Don’t listen to Barr—read Mueller’s words yourself.”
Though Democrats demanded the full report, the findings delivered to Congress were redacted. During his press conference, Barr insisted that none of the redactions were the result of “executive privilege.”
Read Mueller’s report (pdf):
According to the New York Times, Justice Department officials had “numerous conversations” with White House lawyers ahead of the Mueller report’s release.
Karen Hobert Flynn, president of government watchdog group Common Cause, said in a statement that “Congress must be given the full report and Congress must determine what needs to be redacted.”
“Those determinations should not be made by a Trump apologist like William Barr who openly criticized the Mueller investigation prior to his appointment as Attorney General,” Flynn added.
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As the Washington Post reports, Mueller’s findings paint “a far less flattering picture for Trump than the attorney general has offered” on the question of whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian government officials.
“Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts,” Mueller’s team wrote, “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
“While the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges,” the report reads.
Mueller’s 400-page report also examines 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice by the president.
While the special counsel does not reach “ultimate conclusions about the president’s conduct,” his report explicitly does not exonerate Trump of obstruction.
“[I]f we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” the report reads. “Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Mueller’s report also highlights Trump’s reaction when he learned the special counsel was appointed.
“Oh my God,” Trump said, according to the report. “This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m f**ked.”
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